Voluntary and community sector funding

Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government given in answering a written parliamentary question suggest that the value of grants given by local authorities to voluntary sector organisations were £2.627bn in 2011/12 compared with £1.693bn in 2008/09. In response NAVCA said no one really believed local government funding for charities was rising and suggested that ‘changes in the way figures are calculated may have caused this odd figure’.

NCVO has published Counting the Cuts: The impact of spending cuts on the UK voluntary and community sector -2013 update. This analysis, based on Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts of public spending, estimates that public funding for charities could be £1.7bn (12%) lower by 2017/18. It noted that future reductions in public spending are likely to be concentrated among departments which are key sources of income for charities – with local government expected to be particularly hard hit.

NCVO has also published the results of the 2011/12 Annual Return for Volunteer Centres, a survey of volunteer centres’ income and activities. It shows that 40% of volunteer centres for whom there is data for both years lost over a quarter of their income compared to the previous year. 1 in 5 (21%) had cuts of 50% or more of their income. A smaller number of volunteer centres saw an increase in their income – 26% of respondents who replied to the survey in both years said their organisation’s income had increased compared to 2010/11.

NAVCA has published the findings of its fourth quarterly survey of members. The latest survey shows that more members feel that the prospects for the local voluntary and community sector will get slightly worse over the next three months, with nearly half reducing staff levels.


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